I know, I know! It’s been ages since I wrote here. I’ve been rather busy celebrating a milestone birthday, and just couldn’t squeeze you in too …
Last year I told Barry I wanted to travel more in 2019. Not that we don’t travel most days on the boat of course. But I wanted to travel OFF the boat. Abroad. Celebrating being alive, well and happy after 60 years on this planet. My first fabulous break came in Cyprus, with my younger daughter, who generously treated me to a restful week at a spa retreat in the mountains. Bliss.
Some of the trips Barry and I had previously planned for this year didn’t materialise – due to the ridiculous and unexpected delay in getting Barry’s Indefinite Leave to Remain Visa returned successfully. Amsterdam first. Then Geneva. Postponed. The the fabulous French Canals jaunt disappointingly took place minus the expected captain. No way of postponing that as it’d been planned and paid for by our intrepid kiwi friends Kerry and Tony. I did my best to enjoy it. Actually it wasn’t hard! I loved every minute. I shan’t post any photos here as I blogged every day I was away. Unbelievable I know! It astounds me how I managed that …
Fun and Games in August
Since then I’ve been to Menorca with both my daughters and grandsons, in the middle of August. Not quite a ‘relaxing’ break, but heaps of fun nonetheless. And it was our first time full-board which was a real treat (especially as I usually do the cooking!).
A wicked weekend at Alton Towers followed soon after. Barry was cajoled into coming. Reluctantly. I think he enjoyed minute aspects of it. Like getting soaked in the pirate ship by water pistols. And speeding along in the Runaway Train. Oh! And the ghost train – which we went on together three times shooting ghosts with laser guns.But it’s really not his ‘thing’. I even went on ONE roller coaster. Three times! The Spinacker I think it’s called …
A Special September
September was chock-a-block-full of amazingness. A brilliant celebration of the month I was born in 1959.
Firstly a wonderful wedding weekend in Yorkshire. Our dear friends Gavin and Helen arranged a magnificent ‘do’. Barry had been persuaded to be their ‘official’ photographer. Incredible but true (he stopped doing them many years ago – too stressful). He vowed once again that it would be the last time. I know he did them proud, and they fully appreciated his gift to them.
As we were only an hour’s drive away in the hire car, we spontaneously decided to take the opportunity to go to Whitby on the Sunday afternoon. I’d been in 2018 with Barry’s brother Ray, but Barry hadn’t come with us. Once again, I’m sure there will be some spectacular shots posted from the master. If you didn’t know, Captain James Cook set sail from Whitby in the late 18th century, and ‘discovered’ New Zealand. He landed at Gisborne, where Barry is from. The 250th anniversary was ‘celebrated’ there recently. If only he/his crew hadn’t had a horrid altercation with the local iwi (Maori tribe), it wouldn’t be so distasteful. But I can’t re-write history. Barry did however buy me the history of Captain Cook for my birthday, so I’ll see what I can discover …
A weekend in London was next, with my sisters and brothers-in-law. We hired a massive four-bedroomed AirBnB house near Portobello Road, which we stayed in for two nights. My sisters treated us to tickets for Proms In The Park. Fabulous fun. Barry wasn’t quite so enthralled with the boogying and singing at the top of our voices to the songs of Barry Mannilow! He was awesome.
On the Monday morning we finally made it to Amsterdam. This time by Eurostar. And splashed out on an amazing hotel called Max Brown (Canal District). With a canal view of course. Worth. Every. Single. Penny. We adored it. And the city. I have no doubt there will be a post from Barry at some point with some spectacular images.
For my birthday weekend I’d booked us into a plush hotel not far from where I grew up. Moor Hall Hotel in Sutton Coldfield. I’d booked the function room of a Four Oaks pub so that a select group of friends and family could party with me. And party we did! From 12 midday till around 1am I think. There was even a live band on in the pub after the ‘do’. A free disco!! Marvelous.
Not long after the party began, I got the shock of my life when my youngest daughter Kimberley walked in. She was supposed to be in Nigeria and had used some of the money from her grandma’s inheritance to fly back for the weekend to surprise me. I felt very loved.
October in Corfu
Shortly after that I flew off to Corfu for a week in Paleakastrista with my three sisters. Sublime. Full board again.
Squeezed in between all these tantalising times, we’ve relished regularly having our grandsons on board – individually of course, it’s far too cramped to have them both at once! Isn’t it fabulous being grandparents? You get all the fun then give them back! And somehow also managed to keep on top of my Ad-Extra work, and Barry’s The Home Brew Boat and Greeting Cards orders. We love the flexibility our chosen lifestyle affords us.
Oddly enough, all I crave for now is staying on board our floating home for a while whilst traveling slowly on the canals!
You never know, I may even make some space to blog regularly too …